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Losing the Weight of Anger

Losing the Weight  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Anger permiates the world. Murder and wars are in the news everyday. But Paul declares that for the believer, that should not be. Christians should not have unholy anger.

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Losing the Weight of Anger

Colossians 3:1-10
Colossians 3:1-10 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Introduction:
Seek and Set
3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
If thenbecause
Raised with Christ – just as Christ was raised from the dead as a result of the work of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Christ – The Anointed One, the Promised One of Israel. Interesting that Paul does not use Jesus’ name by itself, but instead uses His title of Christ or Jesus Christ.
…seek the things that are aboveEphesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Seated at the right hand of God – Jesus the Christ is seated; His work is done. He is seated at the right hand of God in His throne room. To sit at the right hand of an earthly king was a place of honor, denoting special trust, authority from, and relationship with the king. It was something that was understood without needing explanation at the time.
If you were to sit at the right hand of the King meant that you acted with his authority. Those who came to you would treat you with respect and obedience, as if you were the king yourself.
Christ is uniquely special to God and exercises God’s authority.
2 Set your minds on things that are above, - in these two verses, Paul proclaims to the church at Colossi to 1) seek the things that are above and 2) set your minds on things that are above. Pursue and occupy your thoughts on “things that are above.”
Note: Paul refers to Justus as Jesus, not the Lord. (Colossians 4:11)
3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
For you have died – Paul instructs every Christian to “die to self” daily; Galatians 2:20. Notice with me that Paul uses the past tense, “died.” His expectation is that every believer in Colossi understands that heaven is their destination and to take full advantage of our lives here on earth, is to “crucify ourselves on a daily basis.”
…your life is hidden with Christ in God - “Your life is deposited with Christ, who is in intimate relation with God”[1]
Paul refers to the Psalms:
5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
When Christ who is your life appears - Believers know that Christ is their life. Perfection in glory will be theirs when Christ returns (when they appear with him in glory).[2] You get the idea that Paul is leaving no room for doubt; “When he appears.” He is coming again! Praise the name of the Lord.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.
The five sexual sins always occur first or second in Paul’s lists. They are first in 1 Cor 6:9; 6:18; Gal 5:19; Eph 5:5; 1 Thess 4:3.[3]
Because we have died to self and are looking for Christ’s return, we are commanded to “put to death” our worldly desires, for two reasons, First, because they come with a penalty; “…the wrath of God is coming.”
In these you too once walked, when you were living in them – Secondly, they characterize the former life. Once, before Christ, we walked in our sins…we were living the lifestyle opposing all that God desired for man.
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Paul now moves from personal sins and to social sins affecting others.
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you” (v. 5). “put them all away” the evil ways in which you once walked (v. 8). “Put on the new self” (v. 10).
This life requires a radical transformation that can only happen to those whose lives are hidden with Christ, who have died to self and will one day be resurrected in Him.
Since the new life is to be lived corporately with all Christians, positive Christian social relationships are mandatory. These five, then, are mentioned not so much because they are more typical of Christians than of non-Christians, but because they are necessary to harmonious relationships in the body of Christ. Respect for all persons should characterize all Christians, but there must be a special regard for the church.[4]
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, - It is imperative that these sins be put away, dealt with and put to death.
How bad is anger for the Christian? The Apostle associates along with sexual sins. Paul declares that theses sins are those that we once walked in, but, because of what Christ has done in our lives, that lifestyle must die…not change, but die.
Anger - negative, violent passion
wrath – fierce indignance
malice, - ‘Ill-will’, ‘spitefulness’[5]
slander - vilification, especially against God, evil speaking
and obscene talk – vile, filthy communication
from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
The new self is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Conclusion
Look with me at the Apostle Paul’s natural progression of his argument:
· Seek the things that are above
· Set your minds on things that are above
· Put to death therefore what is earthly in you
· Put them all away
· Do not lie to one another
· Put on the new self
Why?
You have been raised with Christ
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God
You will appear with Christ in glory
The wrath of God is coming in judgment
You have put off the old self with its practices
Anger and all its cousins were a part of the old life. They have no place in the new man.
If you have anger, that is the old man and anti-God.
[1] King James Version Study Bible ., electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), Col 3:3.
[2] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2298.
[3] Richard R. Melick, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, vol. 32, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991), 289.
[4] Richard R. Melick, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, vol. 32, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991), 293.
[5] P. Ellingworth, “Malice,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 720.
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